Tag Archives: Vegfest

Vegfest – making a difference in all kinds of ways!

Fred_Meyer_logoWhile many people may be familiar with the great food samples at Seattle Vegfest, our expert MD’s, health screenings, chefs, and the children’s program, there’s more to Vegfest than that. One of the most important needs for many would-be vegetarians is access to high quality vegetarian food in mainstream markets. For many years that just wasn’t available. But now Vegfest is doing its part to change the situation.  Last year we had our first mainstream retailer, Fred Meyer, sponsor Vegfest. They wanted to learn more about the different vegetarian foods, and the people who buy them, and we were thrilled to help. They even sent their employees to Vegfest so they could learn about it from us first hand.

Five star foodies copyDo you wish there were even more different kinds of vegetarian food available? We do too, and Vegfest does its part in making that happen. Every year, several new startups come to Vegfest hoping to get their first boost. For instance, a new family-owned business, Five Star Foodies, will be flying in from Ohio to participate in our Vegfest. Closer to home, Fauxmage, a new dairy-free startup “cheese” company, will be receiving its first big boost from Vegfest too.

Two volunteers offer Q-Nature - low resYou may have also noticed a lot of young people volunteering at Vegfest, mostly high school and college students. Many, if not most, are not yet vegetarians, but almost all of them are what we call “veg-curious”. Now, that’s a curiosity we want to encourage! By volunteering at Vegfest, these young people learn about all things vegetarian, while working to make the event a success. Almost as important, these veg-curious young people see not only all the adults at Vegfest, but lots of other young people, wearing Vegfest T-shirts, just like them!

Eating vegetarian is eating green, and Vegfest helps that too. For instance, for the third year running, the many environmental advantages of a vegetarian diet will be broadcast as part of the Greentivities series on KJAQ 96.5 FM. Look also for our newly revised Eating Green brochure at Vegfest.

Vegfest helps Doctors!

AppleRXHow many times have you wished that more doctors knew how plant-based diets can help prevent and even treat a wide variety of diseases? We know just how you feel, so we decided to do something about it!

We are holding our first Medical Seminar for doctors and medical students, taught by board certified specialists in areas such as cardiology, oncology, preventative medicine, infectious disease and OB/GYN, on Saturday April 9 at 6:30pm, in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. It’s part of our new Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign whose mission is to help practicing doctors learn about how to use plant-based diets with their patients, and to include it as part of medical school training.

While this event is open only to doctors and medical school students, if you know of a doctor you think would like to attend, please invite them to register at seminar.seattlevegfest.org.  Doctors can learn more about the use of Plant-Based diets in our medical blog, The Vegetarian Prescription.

If you’re not a doctor, you’ll still have an opportunity to hear the latest on health and nutrition from many of the same specialists including OB/GYN, cardiology, oncology, internal medicine, preventative medicine and more. They’ll be speaking to the general public throughout the weekend at Vegfest. See the schedule of speakers. We also have lots of free health screenings available. You’ll find carotid artery ultrasounds, bone density testing, diabetes and cholesterol testing, blood pressure readings, and new for this year, we’ll even have dental health screenings from our dentists!

How to Get the Most out of Vegfest

Our biggest event of the year, Vegfest, is coming up on March 24th and 25th at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

People coming for the first time are sometimes overwhelmed by the abundance of food choices and learning opportunities available to them, so our recommendation is to plan ahead.

Food sampling at Vegfest is always one of the most popular parts of the event, and with over 500 different kinds of food to try, we’re sure you’ll find plenty you’ll like and discover more new products each year. Because there’s so much to sample at Vegfest, the trick is remembering it all!  So we suggest having a memo book with you when going up and down the aisles. That way you can write down not only the names of new foods you’ve tried, such as the latest dairy-free “cheddar,” and also the different flavors and varieties of familiar foods used in new ways, such as Japanese style silken tofu stir-fried in a Tex-Mex sauce. You can also jot down details, such as which local stores carry the product, and other varieties and flavors of the product that are available.  You can also use your cellphone camera to take a quick picture of each product you like, so that you’ll have an instant record of the packaging when you get home. Bargain hunters should be on the lookout for coupons throughout the weekend, and be sure not to miss our Sunday night closing sale, when all the remaining food is available than bargain prices.

Involve the kids! Most kids are notoriously picky eaters and this is a great time to find out what they really like, and are willing to eat, without spending an arm and a leg. It’s also a great time for them to learn and to form healthy food habits. We suggest attending our free “Eat a Rainbow Everyday” skit put on by our favorite clowns Zero and Somebuddy twice each day!

Vegfest features a powerhouse of medical doctors, each one an expert on the connection between health and nutrition. Our keynote speaker this year is Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and author of at least 14 books on health and nutrition. Check the online schedule before you come, to time your visit to coincide with the speakers who best address your particular needs. With so many doctors speaking, this is a golden opportunity to get your questions answered. Don’t be shy! We suggest writing down your questions in advance, and then asking them just after each doctor gives their presentation. That’s the time that our presenters are expecting lots of questions. Make sure to have notepaper with you during their presentation as well, so you can ask about anything new you just learned about.

Cooking is that noble endeavor that blends art with science, and the chefs from the PCC Cooks program are recognized experts in making it all come out just right.  We suggest keeping your thinking cap on during the cooking demonstrations and try to imagine preparing each dish at home. This will prompt you to come up with questions regarding various ingredient substitutions and cooking method alternatives such as “can I substitute agave syrup for the brown rice syrup?” or “would this work in the microwave just as well as a conventional oven?”

Vegfest is a booklover’s bonanza, and another great way to learn more about the many benefits of a vegetarian diet, and how to cook delicious food! To save a few dollars look for so called “hurt books”. These books merely have a creased cover or a few pen marks but sell at steep discounts.

However, perhaps the most fulfilling part of the Vegfest experience is actually joining Vegetarians of Washington, the non profit that produces Vegfest each year. While you can always join or renew at any time of year, if you join at Vegfest you’ll receive the added benefit of our membership bag – a free tote bag filled with lots of free food and valuable coupons.

See you at the fest!

Winning the Battle of the Bulge

Besides saving money, winning the battle of the bulge is the other most popular New Year’s resolution. And, there’s little wonder why, with two thirds of all Americans now either overweight or obese.

There are three phases to weight loss: getting your diet started, working the diet to your goal and transitioning to everyday eating for long term results. Every endeavor starts with a single step, and since New Year’s Resolutions are all about beginnings, here’s our our top recommendation for getting started on your journey to victory in the battle of the bulge.

In 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health, PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., shows you how a vegetarian diet will help you drop pounds, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and improve blood sugar—in just three weeks. He also provides three weeks of recipes, nutrition information, and cooking tips, as well as inspiration from celebrities, including a foreword by Alicia Silverstone, tips from Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper, and advice from NBA champion John Salley.

This book is a powerful tool on its own, but what makes the Kickstart program even more advantageous is the online portion that goes with it. From webcasts and teleclasses to daily messages from famous doctors, and from social media such as Facebook to additional recipes and nutritional advice, this online program is truly special. You can check it out by visiting pcrm.org/kickstarthome/

What’s even more special is the way Dr. Barnard combines sound scientific principles of weight loss with a caring and compassionate attitude. In fact we’re so impressed with this doctor, we’ve invited him to be a speaker at this year’s Vegfest! We invite you to come down hear him speak and meet him in person. And best of all, he’ll answer all your questions.

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